Tribal and Climate Activists Gathering about Mammoet Megaloads

Higgens Point Enlarged

Friday, February 28, 3 to 5 pm, Conference Room A

Benewah Medical and Wellness Center, 1100 A Street, Plummer, Idaho

On Friday afternoon, February 28, at the Wellness Center in Plummer, Idaho, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) organizers are holding an inter-community discussion among Coeur d’Alene and Nez Perce tribal members and Coeur d’Alene and Moscow activists about three of the heaviest, longest, and widest megaloads to ever travel on Highway 95 through Moscow and the Coeur d’Alene Reservation and on Interstate 90 and East Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive.

Dutch heavy hauling company Mammoet plans to move the 1.6-million-pound, 441-feet-long, 27-feet-wide, industrial transports to the Calumet-owned Montana Refining Company in Great Falls sometime in March or afterwards [1].  At this closest U.S. refinery to Alberta tar sands mining operations, these shipments would contribute to tripling refinery conversion of 10,000 barrels per day of Canadian tar sands crude into Rockies transportation fuels.  Per National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is currently reviewing this transportation project, called the Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive Temporary Overweight Truck Route, before Mammoet and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) can construct the likely reusable “temporary” Interstate 90 on-ramp near Higgens Point, which would accommodate megaload passage while endangering natural resources and public infrastructure. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: City of Moscow Mammoet Megaload Workshop 2-24-14

The Monday, February 24, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features the entire recording of the January 15, 2014, public workshop hosted by the City of Moscow about Dutch hauling company Mammoet’s plans to ship the heaviest, longest, and widest ever megaloads in the region on Highway 95 and Interstate 90, through Moscow and Coeur d’Alene.  Representatives of Mammoet, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Idaho State Police, Latah County Sheriff’s Department, City of Moscow Police, and elected officials discussed plans to move the 1.6-million-pound, 441-feet-long, 27-feet-wide industrial transports to the Calumet refinery in Great Falls, where they will triple production of Alberta tar sands heavy crude oil.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ.

WIRT Newsletter: February through June WIRT and Allied Events

Dear comrades,

On the way to southern and eastern Idaho megaload protests starting on Thursday night, please accept Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) apologies for the lateness of overdue newsletters about months of megaload, Idaho gas drilling, oil and coal export, and Keystone XL pipeline updates.  As always, the intensity of regional campaigns carrying our shared resistance work forward overwhelms the few, much appreciated organizers who consistently give their all.  We offer our unconditional gratitude to the WIRT and allied activists who have provided physical and/or fiscal support over our three years together.  But WIRT needs to function more like the collective it was intended to be, as the few shouldering most of the necessary tasks are years past burn-out and are eager to establish a balance between outgoing and incoming energy and resources.  Please contact WIRT to lead, assist, and/or participate in one or all of these activities:

* Round 3: Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests!

Based on the ever-changing schedule of transports in transit, WIRT will regularly update the tentative dates, times, places, and carpool arrangements of these events on the WIRT website and facebook pages.

* Third Thursday Monthly WIRT Potluck and Meeting

Thursday, February 20, 7:00 pm

The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street, Moscow, Idaho

WIRT needs a second email contact person to step forward, to assist the regional organizing efforts of Northwest Rising Tide groups, not to mention invest some work in WIRT endeavors.

* A Healing Walk through the Alberta Tar Sands

Thursday, February 27, 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE) Room 202, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

Six local participants in the Tar Sands Healing Walk will share a presentation and audience discussion connecting Alberta tar sands development with local and regional megaloads, huge pipeline projects, impacts on people and places, and overarching climate change, cultural, and ethical issues.

* Tribal and Climate Activists Gathering about Mammoet Megaloads

Friday, February 28, 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Benewah Medical and Wellness Center, 1100 A Street, Plummer, Idaho

As described in a January 29 message to core WIRT and Nez Perce activists, a few of us have been talking about holding a meeting and maybe a tar sands/megaload teach-in, film screening, or action-planning session on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation, involving Nez Perce and Coeur d’Alene tribal members and Moscow and Coeur d’Alene activists.  Because three 1.6-million-pound Mammoet megaloads, for a Great Falls tar sands refinery tripling its capacity, could roll up Highway 95 sometime in February, WIRT activists and allies need to arrange resistance soon, to stand with Nez Perce, Coeur d’Alene, and other tribal activists in protest and protection when the time comes.  All meeting participants are welcome to drive and/or ride with activists attending the following Missoula convergence.

* Non-Violent Direct Action Workshop

Saturday and possibly Sunday, March 1 and 2, times and places to be arranged

Missoula, Montana

Indian Peoples Action and Rising Tide North America are coordinating a rare, interior Northwest weekend of direct action trainings in various skills such as blockades and media outreach. Continue reading

Letter to Eastern Oregonians: Megaload Road Damage Informatio​n and Solidarity

Nyssa City Manager and Councilors, Argus Observer Editorial Board, Mr. Allison, and Mr. Moore,

Although this message is long overdue, your north Idaho neighbors are nonetheless grateful for your recent expressions of concern about possible road damages and jurisdictional discrepancies imposed on eastern Oregonians by permitting and passage of three Omega Morgan-hauled “megaloads” [1, 2, 3].  As a correction to an excerpt of the second cited article below, “This is largely the same route that ExxonMobil used in 2012.  The number of those shipments in 2012?  Thirty-two.”, we would like to note that over 70 megaloads weighing up to 415,000 pounds traversed Highway 95 and Moscow between July 15, 2011, and March 6, 2012.  They originally numbered 33, but Mammoet split their 30-foot heights in half, to accommodate their movement under interstate overpasses.

A few weeks ago, just before the latest Oregon megaload onslaught and citizen resistance in the courts and streets that has kept us busy, Wild Idaho Rising Tide and four Moscow and Coeur d’Alene conservation- and climate change-oriented groups sent a letter to the Federal Highway Administration and other state and federal agencies, describing our concerns about the three 1.6-million-pound, Mammoet-hauled megaloads proposed for transport, via Highways 95 and 200 and Interstate 90, to a tar sands refinery tripling production in Great Falls [4].  We plan to circulate a media release about this statement soon and trust that you will find the following excerpt useful.  Please see the original letter for citations and links, especially to photos of Highway 95 road damage inflicted by ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil megaloads, also carried by Mammoet. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Peter Goodman 2-17-14

The Monday, February 17, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features Oregon megaload and coal export opponent and activist Peter Goodman of Act on Climate.  With Walla Walla Chief Yellow Bird, Carl Sampson, Peter filed a Petition for Review of Agency Order against the Oregon Department of Transportation on Tuesday, February 11, in Marion County Circuit Court in Salem. Carl and Peter are asking the court to require ODOT to follow state laws obliging it to act in the public interest and thus consult the Umatilla tribes and Oregonians before issuing permits to Omega Morgan tars sands megaloads that cause multiple harms and hasten global climate change.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ.

Round 3: Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests!

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests Flyer 2 Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), 350 Boise, and Occupy Boise are again organizing megaload protesting and monitoring activities at Marsing, Mountain Home, Timmerman Junction, Arco, and Salmon, Idaho, and supporting blockades organized by Indian Peoples Action, Blue Skies Campaign, and Northern Rockies Rising Tide in Missoula and other Montana locations [1, 2].  Based on the ever-changing schedule of transports in transit, WIRT will regularly update the tentative dates, times, places, and carpool arrangements of these events on the WIRT website and facebook pages.  Please bring your family, friends, and neighbors, and come prepared with protest signs, banners, and equipment, musical instruments, voices, and chants, audio and video recorders, cameras, notepads, and your spirit of solidarity, regional resistance, and freedom of expression.

* Boise carpools to Marsing and Mountain Home: Contact Ann Ford of 350 Boise at or 208-344-4675.  Meet at the Shopko sign/parking lot at 2655 South Broadway Avenue, at 8 pm MST on Thursday, February 20, for Marsing carpools, and at 9 pm MST on Friday, February 21, for Mountain Home carpools.

* Marsing protest: Also meet at the Marsing Elementary/Middle School parking lot, 205 Eighth Avenue West, Highway 78, at 9 pm on Thursday, February 20.

* Mountain Home protest: Also meet at the Pilot Travel Center, 1050 Highway 20 at Interstate 84 Exit 95, at 10 pm MST on Friday, February 21.

* Wood River Valley/Timmerman Junction protest: Meet to carpool in the Atkinsons Market parking lot, 757 North Main Street in Bellevue, at 9 pm MST on Saturday, February 22, or at the Timmerman Junction rest area, on the southwest corner of the U.S. Highway 20 and Idaho Highway 75 intersection, at 10 pm MST on Saturday, February 22.

* Pocatello/Blackfoot area carpools to Arco: Contact Levi Shoemaker at  Meet at the Big Kmart sign/parking lot at 3945 Pole Line Road in Pocatello, at 8 pm MST on Saturday, February 22.

* Salmon protest: Meet at the Skate Park in Island Park, at 10 pm MST on Thursday, March 6.

* Missoula protest: Meet at the Rosauers parking lot at 2350 South Reserve in Missoula, at 12 midnight on Thursday/Friday, March 13-14.

* Spokane, Washington, and Moscow, Idaho, carpools to Missoula and Montana actions on Thursday, March 13: Contact Terry Hill of Spokane Rising Tide at  Montana activists have arranged lodging for participants visiting Missoula.

* Megaload monitoring at various locations: Contact WIRT at 208-301-8039 and

* Contributions for organizer, monitor, and protester travel and potential legal expenses: Donate through WePay at and via mail to P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, ID 83843.

Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests Flyer 2

Continue reading

Comments on the Trendwell West Application to Drill the Smith 1-10 Well

February 12, 2014

Sent via email and attachment

Idaho Department of Lands

Boise Staff Office

P.O. Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0050

Director Schultz and IDL staff,

On behalf of over 2200 members of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), I respectfully offer and request inclusion in the public record of these comments concerning the application submitted to the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) by Trendwell West, Inc. (“Trendwell”) requesting permits to drill the Smith 1-10 well, the first recently proposed oil or natural gas well in Canyon County, Idaho (LU600553 Trendwell West Application for Permit to Drill 2-12-14).

WIRT activists oppose permitting, drilling, and potential hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of the proposed Trendwell West Smith 1-10 well, due to the inadequacy and incompleteness of Trendwell’s plans submitted for public review and the potential impacts of the well and its development on human and environmental health and safety.  Considering that corrections to the original, posted application, compelled by Trendwell’s non-compliance with the IDL instructions stated in the application, and additional documents such as the Surface Use Agreement, are currently missing and thus unavailable for public review during the comment period before potential IDL permitting of this application, we request that, if the Trendwell application to drill the Smith 1-10 well is modified or augmented in any way, the Idaho Department of Lands re-open the comment period for this application.  Failure to post this revised application and re-open its public review violates section 51 of IDAPA 20.07.02 Rules Governing Oil and Gas Conservation in the State of Idaho. Continue reading

Oregon Megaload Rally TONIGHT (Tuesday)!

Rally to Stop the Third Megaload 2-11-14

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Umatilla tribal members monitoring megaloads tonight (Wednesday) between Pilot Rock and likely Ukiah, Oregon, need our on-site solidarity and cooperative work, for their safety constantly compromised by cops.  See the monitoring notes about the Tuesday night megaload movement on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide and Portland Rising Tide facebook pages and below.

From Portland Rising Tide information:

The Oregon Department of Transportation permitted movement of the third Oregon megaload last week, just before a major regional snowstorm brought blizzard conditions up the Columbia Basin and snow to Lewiston area ports.  But as the snow melts, Portland Rising Tide and allies expect the Omega Morgan-hauled tar sands transport to move tonight, Tuesday, February 11.  They are hosting an anti-megaload rally at the Port of Umatilla, likely the last public opportunity in eastern Oregon to show tar sands profiteers that tribal and climate activists and Oregon citizens will not let them transform indigenous Umatilla homelands into a long-term, heavy haul route for dirty energy extraction equipment used to destroy the Earth and climate.

Please come prepared with warm clothes and rain gear for cold and rainy conditions, food and hot drinks, maps and protest signs and banners if you have them, and a plan for self-sufficiency and sleeping accommodations if you choose to stay overnight.  Most rally participants will return to Portland or other places after the protest.  Lowen is coordinating 3 pm ride shares converging outside the Cherry Sprout Grocery, 722 North Sumner Street in Portland.  Eddie is arranging 3 pm carpools departing the Red and Black Café at 400 SE 12th Avenue in Portland.  If you have space in your rally-bound vehicle or need a ride to participate, please stop by one of these locations and offer rides or gas funds for drivers.  Meet for a pre-rally gathering at the Quality Inn conference room, 705 Willamette Street in Umatilla, Oregon, at 7 pm on Tuesday, February 11.  Call Lowen at 503-407-8749 to discuss travel questions or issues. Continue reading

Rally and Court Action Against Third ODOT Megaload Permit

Rally and Court Action Against Third ODOT Megaload Permit

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Peo Peo Mox Mox Chief Yellowbird and Headman of the Walla Walla Tribe, Carl Sampson, and Peter Goodman, representing Act On Climate, filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court, a day after dozens of supporters gathered outside.  Their case requests a court review of a permit issued by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for Omega Morgan to haul a third tar sands mining equipment megaload on eastern Oregon scenic highways passing through tribal lands.

Their “Petition for Review of Agency Decision” asserts that ODOT failed to meet its legal obligations to determine whether “the public interests will be served” before it granted the permit on Thursday, February 6, 2014.  Federal and state laws mandate prior state government consultation with tribal governments, and Oregon statutes require ODOT determination of public interests, before issuing megaload variance permits.  The plaintiffs do not believe that ODOT is following state laws restricting such permitting to reflect public interests, unless the department first provides formal opportunities for the public to comment. Continue reading

Port of Umatilla Megaload Blockader Charges Resolved

On Thursday, February 6, 2014, climate justice activist Cathy Sampson-Kruse and her attorney, Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), successfully resolved her Umatilla County Circuit Court case regarding her act of nonviolent civil disobedience that attempted to stop an Omega Morgan transport of megaload equipment, on its way to Alberta tar sands mining operations on December 2, 2013.*  Police arrested Cathy while she put her body upon the roadway, causing the obscenely large equipment to temporarily halt its path of destruction.  Ms. Sampson-Kruse, a Native American elder, grandmother, mother, and the daughter of Chief Yellowbird of the Walla Walla Tribe, has inspired her community and the climate justice movement.  After county sheriffs roughly arrested her and attempted to degrade her spirit, she was charged with disorderly conduct and the legally meritless charge of interfering with police.  On Thursday, Umatilla County Circuit Court followed the recommendation that she complete 20 hours of community service in exchange for a lesser violation conviction of disorderly conduct and dropped charges of interfering with police.  Ms. Sampson-Kruse and her attorney, Lauren Regan, are both pleased with this outcome.  Climate and tribal activists offer Cathy their gratitude, respect, and love, honoring her and all of the courageous regional protesters now and in the future, who prayed, sang, drummed, wrote, called, and supported Cathy’s and the movement’s shared spirit of megaload and tar sands resistance.  For more information or to donate to CLDC in Eugene, Oregon, please see the website or contact or

* Colin Murphey, Megaload Departs (December 3, 2013 Hermiston Herald)

(From a Civil Liberties Defense Center statement)